We touched yesterday on the truth that the reason why the ungodly are set in eminent places is because God arranges it. The psalmist goes on to say that not only does God raise up the ungodly, but He also brings them down: "You cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed ‘" (Psa. 73:18-19). The hand that led them up to the top of the slope is the hand that also casts them down. Why does God act in this strange and mysterious manner? One reason is that God is able to demonstrate how unreliable and insecure are the ways of those who choose not to walk with Him. This explains why we so frequently read of some prominent godless person, such as a film star whom everyone is acclaiming, being suddenly removed from the face of the earth. The feet of such people were set in slippery places. Some reading these lines will remember how everyone stood in dread of Adolph Hitler. He had the whole world frightened, but now he is gone and almost forgotten. The psalmist’s words "You cast them down ‘ how suddenly are they destroyed" are really an exclamation of godly wonder at the suddenness and completeness of the sinner’s overthrow. God makes a spectacle of those who persist in rejecting His love and grace. They make a splash for the moment of their lives, but after that they are gone and soon forgotten. Keep that fact before you as you look out upon the world. It may sometimes seem as if God is not in control, but in actual fact His hand is ever upon the helm of human affairs.
Prayer: Gracious and loving Father, my heart bows in silent wonder as I contemplate the awesomeness of Your ways. Open my eyes that I might see that You are at work all around me and that Your face is constantly set against evil. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
For further study:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" (2 Cor 1:3-4).
I was 14 years old in September 1966. I was home watching I Dream of Jeannie on television when the program was interrupted by a news bulletin: "Three prominent local businessmen have died in a plane crash in the mountains of Tennessee." That’s how I learned of the death of my father.
It was difficult and painful growing up without a father. I loved and needed my dad. I couldn’t understand why God would take him away from me so suddenly. I certainly didn’t see the death of my father as a "blessing" in any sense of the word.
Yet I have seen blessings come out of that terrible tragedy. In the years since my father died, God has brought a number of men across my path that have lost fathers at an early age. Because of my own loss, I had an instant connection with others who suffered similar losses. We shared an experience that other people couldn’t fully understand.
I went through a seven year period where I experienced major financial problems. I can’t say that it was a blessing to go through those seven years of adversity, but God has used my trial to bring blessing to other people. It actually was a catalyst to move me into a whole new calling. When I meet someone who is going through a business failure or a financial loss, there’s an instant bond between us of shared experience.
God can take our adversity—a heart attack, cancer, an automobile accident, violent crime, bankruptcy, a marriage crisis, the loss of a loved one—and transform that pain into encouragement for the people around us. We come out of those experiences stronger and better able to comfort others.
Although adversity may never be a blessing, God in His grace can bring blessing out of our adversity. The key is releasing the hurt and pain to the Lord so He can bring the needed healing to our lives. Why not give your circumstance to the Lord today and let Him use it in the lives of others. This will be the first step toward healing.